Salem's Lot Special Edition

I'm LOVING the artwork for the Cemetery Dance edition of Salem's Lot.  Let's face it, the early works of King were not given the best artistic treatment by Doubleday.  Well, the wrong is being righted!

From Cemetery Dance:

'Salem's Lot: The Deluxe Special Edition
A Collectible Limited ONE TIME PRINTING featuring an introduction by Stephen King, an afterword by Clive Barker, color paintings by David Palumbo, and Special Bonus Features including deleted scenes, two related short stories, and a map of the town by Glenn Chadbourne!
Volume Two in The Stephen King Doubleday Years Set!

'Salem's Lot: The Deluxe Special Edition (Volume Two in the "Doubleday Years" Collection)
 by Stephen King

Featuring full color wrap-around artwork by David Palumbo and full color interior paintings printed on a high-quality glossy stock and tipped into the book!

About the Book:
 'Salem's Lot is a small New England town with white clapboard houses, tree-lined streets, and solid church steeples. That summer in 'Salem's Lot was a summer of homecoming and return; spring burned out and the land lying dry, crackling underfoot. Late that summer, Ben Mears returned to 'Salem's Lot hoping to cast out his own devils and found instead a new, unspeakable horror.

A stranger had also come to the Lot, a stranger with a secret as old as evil, a secret that would wreak irreparable harm on those he touched and in turn on those they loved.

All would be changed forever—Susan, whose love for Ben could not protect her; Father Callahan, the bad priest who put his eroded faith to one last test; and Mark, a young boy who sees his fantasy world become reality and ironically proves the best equipped to handle the relentless nightmare of 'Salem's Lot.

This is a rare novel, almost hypnotic in its unyielding suspense, which builds to a climax of classic terror. You will not forget the town of 'Salem's Lot nor any of the people who used to live there.

Special Features For This Deluxe Special Edition:
• an introduction by Stephen King
• an afterword by Clive Barker
• many deleted scenes that were cut from the original manuscript
• the short stories "Jerusalem's Lot" and "One for the Road"
• deluxe oversized design (7 inches X 10 inches) featuring two color interior printing as part of the page design
• printed on a heavy interior specialty paper stock that is much thicker than the paper in a normal trade edition
• epic wrap-around full color dust jacket artwork by David Palumbo
• a different full color dust jacket for the Numbered Artist Edition painted by David Palumbo
• full color interior paintings by David Palumbo
• interior artwork will be printed on a heavy glossy stock and tipped into the book
• an original map of the town drawn by Glenn Chadbourne exclusively for this special edition
• signature sheet artwork for all three editions by Glenn Chadbourne
• high-quality endpapers and fine bindings
• an exclusive reproduction of the first reader's letter to point out the Father "Cody" error and several internal memos from Doubleday about changing the pricing after the first edition of the book was already printed
• extremely collectible print run that is a tiny fraction of the TENS OF MILLIONS of copies of this novel you've seen in bookstores over the years!

picture credit:

Published in three states:
• Slipcased Oversized Hardcover Gift Edition of only 3,000 copies printed in two colors on a specialty paper stock; bound with a fine binding, two color hot foil stamping, and embossed endpapers; and featuring a unique black-and-white limitation page with artwork by Glenn Chadbourne ($95)

• Traycased Oversized Hardcover Numbered Artist Edition signed by the artist and limited to only 750 hand-numbered copies printed in two colors on a specialty paper stock; bound with a different fine binding, two color hot foil stamping, and full color illustrated endpapers; a full-color signature sheet signed by the artists and featuring artwork by Glenn Chadbourne; and housed in a traycase ($250)

• Traycased Oversized Hardcover Artist Lettered Edition signed by the artist and limited to 52 hand-lettered copies printed in two colors on a specialty paper stock; bound in two different fine materials in a hand-made three piece binding featuring spine hubs, gilded page edges, two color hot foil stamping, and full color illustrated endpapers; a different full color signature sheet signed by the artists and featuring artwork by Glenn Chadbourne; and housed in a unique "three piece" traycase ($1250)

Top 5 Horror Anthology Films of All Time

Top 5 Horror Anthology Films of All Time
by  Brandon Engel 

If it wasn’t for fifties horror comics (especially EC titles like Tales From The Crypt and Haunt of Fear) it’s probably safe to say that horror movies and literature simply wouldn’t exist as we know them today. Stephen King is himself a huge fan of the comic format, and he has borrowed liberally from the influence of such works throughout the course of his career.

There have been many great horror anthology films over the decades, typically comprised of three to five short stories with wrap-around segments to stitch the disparate stories into one self-contained narrative. Many follow in the footsteps of the EC, while one title from the list below predates such comics, and might have, itself, influenced the format of the comic books.

Here is a look at the top five horror anthology films of all time.

5. Trilogy of Terror (1975)
Originally made for ABC, the film is comprised of three short stories all written by Richard Matheson (author of I Am Legend and frequent contributor to The Twilight Zone). Actress Karen Black appeared as a different character in each segment. The most memorable sequence is the film’s closer, “Amelia,” about an upscale New Yorker who brings home a Zuni warrior fetish doll (which resembles a piranha with fearsome fangs and stringy black hair). There’s a golden band across the doll’s waist, and it’s said that if the band is removed, the dormant spirit which inhabits the doll will be unleashed. The segment is significant in the annals of movies with killer dolls, and was even once parodied in a Simpson’s Treehouse of Horror segment.

4. Dead of Night (1945)
This was one of the only horror films made by the English Ealing Studios, and it’s often regarded as  one of the most inventive horror films of all time. A group meet for a weekend vacation, and one member of the group is plagued by a sense of the uncanny. This provides the narrative container, as each guest then relates a story about an eerie occurrence or dream they’ve had. The most famous sequence features Michael Redgrave as a psychotic ventriloquist who can’t seem to discern where his identity ends, and the identity of his doll “Hugo” begins.

3. Tales From The Darkside: The Movie (1990)
The film was of course a spin-off of George Romero’s cult TV show, Tales From the Darkside (which is itself enjoying its own resurgence in popularity now that it can be streamed directly from DTV - see their website) and the feature film also features a story contribution from King himself, The Cat From Hell. The most memorable sequence features a woman who plots to cook her newspaper delivery boy. Even more memorable is the device used for the wrap arounds: a young man is telling these stories to distract a witch who intends to eat him. A technically well-executed and enjoyable horror omnibus in the Romero tradition.

2. Tales From the Crypt (1972)
Released by the British film studio Amicus, this take on the classic fifties horror comics offers wonderful performances from Hammer Horror icon Peter Cushing as an ostracised but nevertheless benevolent eccentric who is driven to suicide by the taunts of his community (only to come back as a vengeful zombie on Valentine’s Day) and the great Patrick Magee, who stars in a segment as blind man who exacts his revenge on a cruel administrator of an asylum for the blind. The film also features a segment about a monkey’s paw which gives its owner five wishes, as well as a story about the homicidal Santa Claus (the very same story which would serve as the basis for the Robert Zemeckis directed pilot of the HBO Tales From the Crypt series).

1. Creepshow (1982)
Written by Stephen King and directed George A. Romero, Creepshow is a highly-stylized tribute to EC comics, which even integrates comic book frames. The film opens with a father reprimanding his son (Joe King, Stephen’s actual son) for reading a gruesome comic book entitled Creepshow. This provides the container for the five vignettes, and among the most memorable are: “Father’s Day,” about a murdered father who returns from the grave to collect his father’s day “cake”, “The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill,” which features a performance from King himself as an east coast bumpkin whose life is turned upside down when a meteor crashes in his backyard, and “The Crate”, a story about a blood-thirsty primate discovered in a crate under the stairs in a university which evokes Edgar Allan Poe’s Murders in the Rue Morgue.


Brandon Engel is a blogger in Chicago who writes about a variety of topics - everything from vintage exploitation films to energy legislation. Brandon has a penchant for horror literature, and his favorite authors within the genre include: H.P. Lovecraft, Edgar Allan Poe, Clive Barker, and, of course, Stephen King. Follow him on Twitter: @BrandonEngel2

Stephen King's Bad Guys Are Terribly Real

Have  you noticed how unnerving some of King's killers are?  It's because they seem all too real.  That's because, I think, King often bases them on real people.  There was a real Annie Wilkes and a real Mr. Mercedes. posted an interesting article  titled, "“Mr. Mercedes”: How Stephen King’s killers mirror real-life murderers."

Mike Berry notes that the timing for Mr. Mercedes could not be less propitious, and reminds us in a side note that Black House arrived in stores September 11, 2001.  I didn't know that.
The novel’s publication date comes a little more than a week after Elliot Rodger stabbed three people to death in his apartment near UC Santa Barbara, killed three others in drive-by shootings, ran down pedestrians in his BMW and then fatally shot himself with his own gun. In the wake of the Isla Vista tragedy, this straight-ahead thriller now makes for uncomfortable reading, in a way Mr. King undoubtedly did not intend.
Of course, King gives  us two types of  bad guys.   There's  the Randall Flagg naughty boy;  he's the devil  and he'll do as he likes.  And then there is the more creepy real life murders

The scary thing about Mr. Mercedes is that he could be -- anyone.  Thus Mike Berry notes Hartfield starts off as one of King's "least interesting villains."  He reminds me of Norman Bates; only, Psycho was scarier.  Norman was scarier.  It might be the difference in media (print verses movie, Hitch verses  King.)  But what both characters emphasize is that we never really know what's going on inside someone elses head.  And that's scary.

What Berry keenly  notes is that Hartfield didn't "snap." And most killers really don't.  They plan, plot  and  think over their crimes.  They relish messing with the police and reliving their crimes.

Here are some easily overlooked villains in the Stephen King canon: 

1. Jo St. George.  A child molester, wife beater and thief, it seems ole Joe doesn't get his due in the Stephen King universe.  His wife, Dolores finished  him off in what can only be described as a brilliant execution.  I loved it!  In fact, I think Dolores Claiborne might be one of those overlooked gems that Stephen King has churned out.  And though the focus of the novel is on Dolores, Jo is one mean  dude and the reader sympathizes with Dolores' vigilante style  of justice.

Let me tell you, as creepy as Mr. Mercede's is -- and as sick as his relationship with his mommy is -- he doesn't molest little kids.  Driving cars into crowds is very, very bad.  But there is something that so deeply crosses the line with child  molestation that it stands on its own in terms of wickedness.  Allow me to go a bit preacher on this one.  Jesus said it would be better to have a millstone hung around your neck and thrown into the ocean  than to have to stand before him on Judgment day and have to answer to harming a child.  In other words, God has a special  place in hell -- literally -- for that kind of wickedness.

2. In 11.22.63, King gave us a real life killer, Lee Harvey Oswald.  By mixing fictional characters with historical, King offered a strange blend of realism. Oswald wasn't a passing character in the book, but someone we followed at some length, getting to know and to some degree understand. Yeah, he was creepy.

3. Charlie Decker, a high school student in the Bachman novel, Rage, holds his classroom hostage  and has a long talk-session with them.  The novel is tense as the reader is left wondering if these students are going to make it out alive.  And, the book  is scarier now than when it was written, since it's actually been connected directly to several  schools shootings.

That ever helpful source, Wikipedia,  gives these examples of real life school  shootings that were in some way connected to or supposedly inspired by rage:
  • Jeffrey Lyne Cox, a senior at San Gabriel High School in San Gabriel, California, took a semi-automatic rifle to school on April 26, 1988 and held a humanities class of about 60 students hostage for over 30 minutes. Cox held the gun to one student when the teacher doubted he would cause harm and stated that he would prove it to her. At that time three students escaped out a rear door and were fired upon. Cox was later tackled and disarmed by another student. A friend of Cox told the press that Cox had been inspired by the Kuwait Airways Flight 422 hijacking and by the novel Rage, which Cox had read over and over again and with which he strongly identified.
  • Dustin L. Pierce, a senior at Jackson County High School in McKee, Kentucky, armed himself with a shotgun and two handguns and took a history classroom hostage in a nine-hour standoff with police on September 18, 1989 that ended without injury. Police found a copy of Rage among the possessions in Pierce's bedroom, leading to speculation that he had been inspired to carry out the plot of the novel.
  • Barry Loukaitis, a student at Frontier Middle School in Moses Lake, Washington, walked from his house to the school on February 2, 1996, and entered his algebra classroom during fifth period. He opened fire at students, killing two and wounding another. He then fatally shot his algebra teacher, Leona Caires, in the chest. As his classmates began to panic, Loukaitis reportedly said, "This sure beats algebra, doesn't it?" — a line erroneously believed to be taken from Rage. (No such line appears in King’s story. The closest is when Charlie Decker quips, "This sure beats panty raids.") Hearing the gunshots, gym coach Jon Lane entered the classroom. Loukaitis was holding his classmates hostage and planned to use one hostage so he could safely exit the school. Lane volunteered as the hostage, and Loukaitis was keeping Lane at gunpoint with his rifle. Lane then grabbed the weapon from Loukaitis and wrestled him to the ground, then assisted the evacuation of students.
  • In December 1997 Michael Carneal shot eight fellow students at a prayer meeting in West Paducah, Kentucky. He had a copy of the book within the Richard Bachman omnibus in his locker. This was the incident that moved King to allow the book to go out of print.
Berry raises the concern  that Rage  can be misunderstood as celebrating the violence it actually condemns.  Comparing Rage to Mercedes, Berry writes,
[Rage] was written by a young author not fully in control of the tools of his craft. “Mr. Mercedes” is the product of an old hand, an accomplished writer of popular fiction who generally knows what he’s doing. There’s really no need to fret that the book might inspire further mayhem.
4. The Needful Thing's cast.  Leeland Gaunt is supposed to be the devil himself.  He's one bad  dude.  But he's not the scary part of Needful Things.  The town-folk are!  Willing to cut each other up in the street, slay dogs and burn their town right  to the ground, the last novel of Castle Rock was a dozy!  It is long, but it's also under-appreciated.  King really shows how the devil  works, getting us to take one small step into sin and finding that soon we are willing to do things we never thought was in our own character.

Berry misses his opportunity to really dig deeper into Hartfield's psychology.  It does seem to be what the article promised.  Instead, Berry gives us as much a review of the book itself as a deeper look at Brady Hartfield.  He declares that the novel ranks in the "middle" of King's work in terms of quality.  And where  would that be?
nowhere near the pinnacle of “The Shining” but well away from the abyss of, say, “Dreamcatcher.” 
Humm.  I liked The Shining a lot.  But I'm not sure it was the "pinnacle."  It's brilliant, absolutely brilliant, and yes -- Mr. Mercede's isn't The Shining.  But it's not King's absolute  best.  Disagree with me?  It might be a while since you've actually read the book.  The  novel is very closed  in, which is both creepy and at point tedious.  I like sprawling novels like The Stand, and, believe it or not, Doctor Sleep.

And as for  Dreamcatcher, which Berry put at the bottom of the pile; I enjoyed it!  Well, for a while.  It's both crazy and engaging.  Stick with the book, not the movie on this one.  Is it a masterpiece?  No.  But it's fun.

How To Survive A Stephen King Book

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Let’s get this out of the way up front: No one is safe.  In a Stephen King book, kids can die – at their own hand.  Old people can be wiped out.  Even narrators, in the case of Christine, are not immune to injuries that takes them out of action.  But, should you suddenly discover your life might be narrated by Stephen King – here’s a helpful survival guide:

1. Avoid classic cars sold by shifty old men.

2. Don’t talk to clowns in sewers; ever.  Unless the clown has a balloon and. . . wait, NEVER!  Never talk to clowns anywhere.  In fact, kill all clowns.

3. Turn down missions that involve going to the dark man’s city during periods of post-apocalyptic plagues.  Just say, “no.”  NO.

4. Don’t stop for Sheriff’s in the desert after spotting a crucified cat.

5. Resist the urge to dig up your dead loved ones and bury them in a magical Pet Sematary.

6. If you stumble upon a buried spaceship – just cover it back up.  You don’t want to know what’s down there that bad.  Really.

7. In the case the you find a time portal in a closet – eat the meat, but pass on opportunities to save dead presidents..

8. Don’t answer your cellphone.  Don’t play in the mist.  Don’t run over Gypsy family members.  Don't stay alone through the winter season at old haunted hotels.  Don't keep poison meat in your garage fridge.  Just. . . DON’T!

9. If the crazy girl with telekinetic powers goes to your school – skip prom.

10. Do NOT. . . I repeat, NOT – chew on toothpicks while holding a monster down in the toilet.

11. If a girl who has the power to set things on fire crosses your path, leave her alone.  That seems obvious, right?  Yeah.  You would leave her alone, right?

12. Don’t buy a home in Castle Rock, Derry or the outlying cities.  In fact, avoid Maine.  All of it.  And Florida.  And Colorado.  Oh, and if your town ends with the name “Lot,” you need to move.  Basically, move to California or Hawaii, bad things don’t happen there.

13. Take your Saint Bernard to the pound.  Now.

14. If you discover a Nazi war criminal, it’s probably best to call the police.

15. If you spouse is abusing your kids – yeah, it’s okay to throw them down a well.  Go with the narrator on that one.

16. Did I mention, don’t chew toothpicks?  I did?  But shadow puppets are okay.

17. Ebay your polaroid camera.

18. Slash the tires of all motor homes.

19. Be a writer.  The writers always seem to make it out alive.

20. Burn the croquet mallet.

21. Don't have sex with the antichrist.  That's important.  In fact, just to be safe, don't even snuggle.

22. No matter how much they pay, turn down job offers that involve descending into a subbasement to root out the rats.  In fact, kill all rats, and spiders.  And avoid subbasements.

23. Turn your library books in on time.  Really, I'm helping you.

24. If horns begin growing. . . wait, wrong writer.  Sorry.  Scratch that one.

24. Keep silver nearby in case you have to destroy a monster.

25. Shoot crows.

. . . If you realize you are NOT in a Stephen King book, but you are actually in a Stephen King movie -- all hope is lost.

It suddenly occurs to me – since this is the world wide web, that I should remind you that you should not really slash motor homes tires.  But you really should not chew toothpicks while a monster is in your toilet.  Really.

The Langoliers Miniseries

Watching the Langoliers on SyFy tonight. I read the novella at a breakneck speed in high school, and loved every bit of it. I mean, absolutely loved it!

For me, this mini-series falls flat -- very flat. It's not that it's bead, exactly, but it's empty -- hollow. a few reasons strike me as I watch this:

1. Length. The story worked as a novella. Might have worked as a 2 hour movie. But at four hours on Syfy, it's like a soap opera. Lots of talking, but a little thin on action. even the flashbacks become cumbersome. Unlike IT and The Stand and even Desperation, which lent themselves well tot he mini-series format, there's just not enough base material in the book. There are no supporting characters, since everyone on earth is gone. So it's just up to these few actors to carry the whole thing.

Each element of the story is introduced with the same energy as my daughter doing her math homework.

2. Special effects. I'm not going to say much about this because it's obvious, the special effects on this movie just aren't there. Or, more plainly, they suck.

Creepshows says: "With much of the budget being spent in other area's, Rubinstein decided against a star cast." I'm not seeing that budget anywhere!

Now, the power lines being crushed is pretty good. Once we get the pac-man's in the sky, the story loses all believability, as it now looks like a bad video game. My wife is cracking up as Craig is chased by the evil pac-man's!

The evil pac-man's remind me of the plant from Little Shop of Horrors, with its head detached.

3. Awkward! There are several scenes that are just absolutely awkward. Passengers introducing each other on the plane -- grown woman telling a kid about how she's going to visit a man she's never met -- and more. Even the kiss shared between Bethany and Albert

4. Dialogue. here's a great line, "The later it gets the later it gets." What?

Leaves me wondering: What happened here. Did anyone review this script? Did King sign off on this?

The story itself reminds me of a Twilight Zone episode. (Odyssey of flight 33)

Creepshows quotes King thusly from Fangoria, "I wasn't crazy about it. that was more of a TV thing. But given when it was, it was fine. The best thing about it was that it gave Tom Holland and Richard Rubinstein the bona fides they needed to get Spelling Productions to go ahead with Thinner." Right, because Thinner was such a . . . I'll stop now.

IMBD notes, "In the scene were Craig Toomey hallucinates that he is in a board meeting on the runway, the man at the head of the table asking him how much money he has made for the company is Stephen King." (

Jan 15, 2015: Check this out -- THANKS CHRIS!

Play THE MIST Video Game

Well, come on in . . . TO THE MIST!  Check out, which is a text based game (remember Zork?)

This is also a time warp back to the sweet year of 1985.  That doesn't seem so long ago -- does it?  I am a huge fan of internet archive, which not only has some old games, television shows and movies, but lots of vintage radio shows.

Anyway -- jump on in to the Mist. . .

The game notes are from my friend Chris Calderon.

Some differences between the game and novella:

As in both book and film, the player is given the part of David Drayton, however, Norton is nowhere to be seen, and Billy has apparently been left "in the care of Mr. Eagleton", "somewhere safe".  The Eagleton character doesn't appear in either book or film.

Mrs. Carmody and Mrs. Reppler are present, however unlike the book or film, the other shopper immediately form a cult around her the instant the mist strikes, we're talking like no more than a second after.  You apparently can't either restrain or take out Mrs. Carmody like in the book.  All the happens is time is wasted and after a certain number of turns, the crowd feeds you to the mist.  Would you like to try again?

Mr. McVey the butcher is nowhere to be found.

The encounter with Norm the Bag Boy goes very differently.

Ollie is there, however he pretty unhelpful, and far from the picture of calm confidence in both of the other incarnations.  This version just sits and panics.

Surprisingly, the game does bear a similarity to the movie in that both offer an explanation for the Mist.  In the film, this info is alluded to by a doomed Army MP.  In the game, a notebook belonging to an Arrowhead Project employee is discovered lying in a dumpster, however never encounters this character in person.

Now for the real scary part, THE GAME FORCES YOU TO GO OUT INTO THE MIST!

Players are going to need to read Gaming after 40's article about the text adventure.  It presents a lot of essential info for playing the game, and is the closest to a manual players are likely to get.  A link for Gaming after 40 can be found here:

Ending The Mist Goes On

In an article titled, "The Mist, Love It Or Hate It," Lilja's Library posted a link to aintitcool news.  The article at aintitcool was a passionate defense of the ending of Frank Darabont's The Mist.  I loved it!  Totally disagree -- but enjoyed every bit of Quint's impassioned defense of dark endings.

The aintitcool article argues that not only are dark endings cool, but they are important for all movies because they add a layer of uncertainty to every movie watching experience.

Quint boils the issue of the Mist and the ending to this:
"So why does The Mist get singled out for its ending? I think people are a hundred times more comfortable with the idea of a big bad monster killing a person than the good guy having to pull the trigger."
I think he's right.  Really right.  And then he swings a home run,
"It would have been awful if a tentacle had come out of the gray clouds surrounding that car and yanked little Nathan Gamble out the window, sucking him into the mist for good, but people would have forgiven that. What many folks can't forgive is that Tom Jane's David Drayton is the one to kill his son."
Is this a nerd debate?  I suspected if you asked most people, they'd say, NO!  This is serious stuff.  But in truth -- it's a minor argument over a few seconds of film.  In big the scheme of things, doe sit really matter?  YES!  . . . oh, wait, my wife tells me she's never worried once about the end of The Mist.  Event though she saw it.  Not once since did she give a lot of thought to it.  Sigh.  Maybe it is a nerd debate; but it's an interesting one.

It's About Character

But let me be clear why it doesn't work for me.  It's that we are asked at the end of the movie to believe something about Drayton's character never presented to us in the rest of the film.  Let's just say, the guy at the end of the film isn't a guy I'd feel comfortable falling asleep in his car.  Throughout the film, Drayton is shown as stoic, strong, logical and ready to fight.  But when actually confronted by the monsters -- he doesn't fight, he kills his kid.  Grown men -- good guys -- don't kill little kids.  That's a pretty straight forward statement -- and it's true.  I'm not comfortable with a movie ending that tries to make the murder of a child A-OK; even cool.  I wonder if people who think this is a great ending have kids.  Of course, father's do kill their children.  And we as a society have agreed we're not cool with that.

Can you think of another scenario where it's okay for a father to kill his child?  Maybe a rapist breaks into the house, is about to rape his daughter -- so he shoots his daughter to save her from the rapist.  Doesn't work, does it?  Why?  Because you think, "why doesn't he just shoot the bad guy?"  Which make us wonder, why doesn't Drayton have any fight in him?  Why did he leave with no real plan to take on the enemy?  Wait -- But what if there's a lot of rapist after the father's girl, and he only has one bullet?  Would it be okay then to say, "You don't get my daughter!" and shoot her?  No.

Of course, The Mist offers a level of despair somewhere beyond the situations I suggested.  Because things look utterly hopeless to Drayton.  Drayton's decision at the end of the movie is a response to his own fear and hopelessness.  But he went out into the mist ready to fight and survive.  So all of his survival instincts wash away in an instant?

I'll just say that for me, the ending doesn't work because it's not the character we were presented with throughout the movie.

What I Like

My disagreement with Quint doesn't mean I didn't take his point.  In fact, I do have a new respect for the ending of The Mist; I see it through new eyes.  I don't agree, but I appreciate the perspective.  And I agree, dark endings are important.  I just want them to be -- logical.

In fact, I'm embarrassed (but not overly read faced!) to admit that Quint spots something I totally missed.  Remember Melissa McBride, who ran into the Mist to get home to her kids?  Quint writes:

Then there's the reveal that they were moments away from being saved. I'd say most who don't like the ending think it's because of this timing, but I'm not so sure. Their salvation was only moments away, but the real knife twist is when we see Melissa McBride and her family being transported past a completely broken Drayton.
What?  Of course everyone else saw it and got it -- but my entire focus was on what just happened, not on what was happening on screen.  No matter how many times I've seen that ending, I missed it!  Quint explains why that particular detail is so unnerving:

You see, he played it safe from the beginning. He did everything logically, thought through his options, and still this awful -- happened to him, yet she was reckless and ran into the mist to get home to her kids, danger be damned. She made it, her family made it, but calm, cool and collected David Drayton did not.
That's a great insight.  Of course, I didn't have that reaction, because I didn't  pick up on the fact that the lady at the end is the same lady who ran into the mist.  I was still thinking about Drayton's handy work with his gun.

Check out the article at aintitcool -- I liked it a

Rose Madder Journal #2: This Is Where The Problems Begin

I was engrossed.  I mean, totally sold on this book and these characters.  When Rose Daniels left home and headed into the big unknown, I was ready to travel the path ahead with her.  Who knew hat adventures lay ahead.

The very point where I thought the book would really take off and get exciting, the problems began.  Rose finds herself in a train station, low on money and seeking shelter.  As she moves among the homeless hoping to find safety somewhere, I began to realize -- this is an "agenda" novel.  King isn't writing a story so much as he's trying to get me to sympathize with a character so he can then make a point.

Characters that were fresh, tight and intricate quickly began to get one-dimensional.  Everyone is against Rose.  The pregnant lady she asks for directions from curses her out.  Why?  Wait -- that's a big WHY?  Why Just to show that society will kick someone when their down, even a pregnant lady can't be nice to poor Rose.

The villain I thought would be a great "bad guy" -- maybe one of King's best -- evaporated quickly.  He's a cop, and a bad boy at that.  But he's ALL bad.  He's so nasty, he's unbelievable.  How does this guy make it though life?  People aren't just one thing; they are multifaceted.  This is something King often excels in bringing to the page; but not in Rose Madder.  Characters are good and bad.  That's it.  There is no complicated Roland or Eddie.  What made the Dark Tower work was that the characters were both flawed and noble.  We identified with them.  In Rose Madder, everyone is painted in single strokes with little detail.

Yes, I feel for Rose when her back hurts.  But scenes play out with such simplicity, the reader knows what's coming before it happens.  There's not need for King to write out the scene where she goes to exchange her very expensive wedding ring, because the reader knows the moment she walks in the pawn show that  the ring isn't worth anything.  King is known for pulling surprises and plot twists; but so far, Rose Madder isn't doing much twisting.

THEN -- Rose encounters a painting that catches he attention.  Could this be the plot twist?  It's hard to hang in there, because even though I suspect there is something special about this painting (can she move inside paintings?), I'm not sure I want to travel the many pages it will require King to get to the point.  Not because I don't love King's writing; usually I'm patient as he builds a story.  But this one is becoming painfully predictable. King makes the mistake of boaring the reader.

In The Stand, there were plot twists I never saw coming.  When King killed off the first batch of good guys, I realized: Anything can happen!

With Rose Madder, I'm beginning to feel like this is one of those John Grisham novels, written with more agenda than story. (Read the Street Lawyer, you'll see what I mean.  And I loved that book, but it was definitely an "agenda" novel.)

But I'm still here.  Still reading.  Still working through this book.  Because sometimes it takes a while for King to make the magic happen.